Army, Air Force Tap Goodwill Industries To Scan And Send Records To VA

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | February 4, 2014

The Army and Air Force have contracted with a division of Goodwill Industries to scan and then transmit to the Veterans Affairs Department millions of pages of service treatment records of Army and Air Force personnel discharged this year.

VA and the Defense Department agreed last February that Defense would be scanning all treatment records for for electronic transfer to VA at the start of 2014.

Army Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the scanning contracts with Goodwill Industries in San Antonio are administered through a federal AbilityOne program that aims to employ the blind or people with other “significant disabilities.” AbilityOne says it has extensive document management experience in 150 federal, military and mail business processing centers and handles imaging and indexing, including work on electronic health records.

A service treatment record contains all medical information on an active duty service member, from his or her first physical examination upon entering service through their final physical before discharge. VA needs complete treatment records to evaluate disability claims. Currently it takes the department 125 days to retrieve STRs from Defense, extending the time required to process a claim.